Why Govt Re­jected Union Pay Claim of 15% for All, says A-G

Em­pha­sis on mod­ernising and re­ward­ing those who per­form well through per­for­mance based in­creases

Fiji Sun - - Front Page - CHARLES CHAM­BERS LAU­TOKA JY­OTI PRATIBHA Man­ag­ing Ed­i­tor News M: (679) 9982077 Email: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj Edited by Kar­alaini Waqanidrola charles.cham­bers@fi­jisun.com.fj

The At­tor­ney-Gen­eral and Min­is­ter for Civil Ser­vice Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said civil ser­vice unions had ini­tially wanted a 15 per cent pay in­crease for all their mem­bers across the board.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, while ad­dress­ing close to 150 civil ser­vants, mainly Min­istry of Health staff in Lau­toka, yes­ter­day, said Gov­ern­ment was to­tally against the in­crease sought by the unions. “The union­ists came to ne­go­ti­ate want­ing that 15 per cent pay in­crease.” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said. “We did not want to do that be­cause it would have dis­ad­van­taged high fly­ers that were per­form­ing well,” he said.

“With the re­forms and job eval­u­a­tions that have taken place in the civil ser­vice, in­creases given by Gov­ern­ment to as much as 70 per cent were un­prece­dented,” he said.

“Never in the history of the civil ser­vice have there been such in­creases.”

“I also is­sued a state­ment on what the unions are try­ing to do.” “We are try­ing to mod­ernise and re­ward high fly­ers.” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the unions were not happy with this as they were the ones who wanted to be seen to their mem­bers as be­ing re­spon­si­ble for any pay in­creases.

“This is the first time the Gov­ern­ment, as the em­ployer, has gone out on their own to is­sue the pay rise.” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said they had waited on the unions on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions to talk about pay in­creases.

Mean­while Mr Sayed-Khaiyum stressed that the new per­for­mance based in­creases would see an up­lift in the qual­ity of the civil ser­vice as every­one would want to at­tain more in­creases.

“Most of the is­sues brought be­fore us are ad­min­is­tra­tive prob­lems and have noth­ing to do with the re­forms.

“The peo­ple you have here (Lau­toka Hospi­tal) are prob­a­bly not giv­ing the right in­for­ma­tion to the min­istry’s Hu­man Re­sources peo­ple.

“If you know of par­tic­u­lar peo­ple who should have been paid over­time but have not been paid, do let us know and we will fol­low up. “Some min­istries are very good at pay­ing over­time.

“This re­form also gives us the feed­back on how some min­istries op­er­ate.

“Your re­spec­tive min­is­ter does not know about your is­sues but your per­ma­nent sec­re­taries should know as they get more pay than some of the min­is­ters.” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum added he knew of cer­tain peo­ple who were hold­ing cer­tain po­si­tions but had no qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

“Some of these peo­ple have been in the min­istry long and have come to these po­si­tions through va­can­cies cre­ated but do not re­ally know what is go­ing on in that min­istry and re­ally do not have a lik­ing for what they are do­ing.” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it was up­set­ting for him and his team to travel around and hear that some peo­ple in se­nior po­si­tions were not do­ing their jobs. Mean­while there was gen­eral sat­is­fac­tion from the med­i­cal staff who at­tended al­though one said she still did not fully un­der the present pay struc­ture un­der the bands for­mula.

Other is­sues raised in­cluded:

Short­age of staff in cer­tain sec­tions like lab­o­ra­to­ries and phar­ma­cies where present staff had to work longer hours;

Reg­is­tered nurses work­ing on public hol­i­days not be­ing paid dou­ble time;

Ex­tra re­spon­si­bil­ity al­lowances; and

Re­quest for in­crease in hous­ing al­lowances.

With the re­forms and job eval­u­a­tions that have taken place in the civil ser­vice, in­creases given by Gov­ern­ment to as much as 70 per cent were un­prece­dented. Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum At­tor­ney-Gen­eral and Min­is­ter for Civil Ser­vice

Photo: Kathrin Kr­ishna

At­tor­ney-Gen­eral and Min­is­ter for Civil Ser­vice Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum at the sec­ond round of na­tion­wide road show for civil ser­vants at Sugar Cane Grow­ers Coun­cil Hall in Lau­toka on Septem­ber 26, 2017.

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